Vietnam is currently undergoing a metamorphosis from a relatively closed society with a centrally planned economy, to a rapidly urbanising one with a global outlook. These changes have been the catalyst for an exciting ferment of activity in popular culture. This volume contains contributions from scholars engaged in the most up-to-date social research in Vietnam, as well as some of Vietnam's most popular cultural producers who are forging new ways of imagining the present whilst at the same time engaging actively in reinterpreting the past. The diverse ways that Vietnam is culturally and socially negotiating the future are examined as the book addresses issues of indigenisation of cultural influences, ambivalence surrounding change, and the consistent blurring of boundaries between informal, non-state cultural activities and formal institutional structures in the evolution of a civil society in Vietnam.

part |54 pages

Part I The background to recent changes

chapter |14 pages

Chapter 2 Political developments in Vietnam

The rise and demise of Le Kha Phieu, 1997–2001

chapter |25 pages

Chapter 3 Vietnam — culture and economy

Dyed-in-the-wool tigers?

chapter |13 pages

Chapter 4 The politics of the greenback

The interaction between the formal and black markets in Ho Chi Minh City

part |50 pages

Part II Everyday life and cultural change in contemporary Vietnam

chapter |21 pages

Chapter 6 Speaking pictures

Biem hoa or satirical cartoons on government corruption and popular political thought in contemporary Vietnam

chapter |13 pages

Chapter 7 Bia om and karaoke

HIV and everyday life in urban Vietnam

part |66 pages

Part III Vietnamese popular culture

chapter |17 pages

Chapter 9 Digesting reform

Opera and cultural identity in Ho Chi Minh City 1

part |52 pages

PART IV The view from within

chapter |17 pages

Chapter 13 Let's talk about love

Depictions of love and marriage in contemporary Vietnamese short fiction